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Old 11-30-2012, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Those with canine cancer experience...

I know this is not the most uplifting of threads.. and neither of my boys have cancer.. but I was wondering if anyone out there could give me advice on how to check for symptoms/ what to look out for/preventions etc. I am a bit of a worrier.. and that thought of my babies getting sicks breaks my heart. I just want to make sure that i am doing everything that i possibly can to keep them safe and healthy.
I have been told that skin cancer is very common and i do put spf on them before they go out in the sun (especially Buddha, my white boxer). I got it off amazing- apparently the only FDA approved sunblock for dogs. They are also being fed a raw diet.
But is there any thing else i should be doing or checking for?
Thanks so much.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can drive yourself insane with worry. All I recommend is that while you are giving your daily lovings just rub your hands along their bodies and check for anything abnormal such as lumps and bumps. I also check to make sure that the lymph nodes in the neck and back legs arent swollen. If they are don't panic right away, your dog could just be fighting a bug. If swelling hasnt gone down in 5-7 days then maybe a trip to the vet is a good idea.

Also if your dog starts to excessively drink water, go off food annd/or becomes lethargic a trip to the vet is warranted.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi. I'm a worrier too. Evertime they sniffel I think it's the big "C". My boy Mo died almost 3 years ago. he had an abdominal mass and spotting on his lungs. He basically had NO symptoms until it was too late, and his only symptom was a squeek instead of a bark. Still don't know how that worked into his cancer. I had decided to get x-rays of my dogs each year as early detection, especially my senior. You can ask your vet if they have (in my case it is a senior wellness exam) with x-rays and blood work at reduced priced. I have one series on my young guy (15 mos old), but I haven't asked the vet about a wellness package for him yet. Which reminds me I have to.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I more or less just keep an eye on them and make sure they're acting ok. If I see any lumps or bumps I'm more inclined to get it looked at right away instead of waiting more so as they age since cancers aren't *as* common in younger dogs. They just make me nervous especially since cancers run in this breed. If they're acting mopey or just not right I'll monitor it for a day or so and if they don't improve we got to the vets. Mine get annual vet check ups and blood work done as well. And, of course now I'm feeding raw too so hopefully that'll give them extra "coverage".
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds like what you are doing so far is a great start(feeding raw and using sun screen)

Since I have dealt with and currently still research canine cancer these are the things I do:

I check Kippah ALL over every single day. The reason I do this is IF there is an abnormality like a lump or skin change I will be able to track it daily for changes in texture, color and size. I suppose one could do this weekly but from personal experience the tumor Gouda had on her eyelid almost doubled in size in a weeks time. Some cancers are very aggressive so changes could possibly happen in a weeks time.

I check her urine and feces every day for changes in color, texture and amount. There are lots of types of cancer that do not have outward physical signs until its quite advanced one being Lymphoma. By the time one notices swollen lymph nodes or vomiting or changes in the feces/urine it can be on its last stage(stage 5). I have seen dogs pass within days of their owners noticing any symptoms. Hesitating can sometimes mean the difference between an early detection and a last stage detection.

Along with feeding a good quality food feeding filtered water is also a good practice.

Basically know your dog well, know his/her habits right down to their elimination habits.

IF by chance your dog does receive a cancer diagnosis make sure to see an oncologist right away. You would not get treatment from a regular MD if you had cancer and its the same for a dog. I cant stress this enough DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! Read as much as possible about the specific type of cancer your dog has. The best defense is a good offense!

Also do not be afraid to try different therapies such as herbs, acupuncture and other holistic approaches.

One last thing and many people dont agree with me but I DO NOT blindly follow what my Vet/Oncologist says. I do my own research and make my own decisions. I went this path with Gouda and Im very glad I did!

If anyone ever has questions about cancer I will share my experience and what I know with you. Dont hesitate to ask
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoudasMom View Post
One last thing and many people dont agree with me but I DO NOT blindly follow what my Vet/Oncologist says. I do my own research and make my own decisions. I went this path with Gouda and Im very glad I did!
All well spoken and great advice, but this part really stuck out to me. I agree with you 100%!!

I too do my own research and will make my own decisions based on my findings. I know my vet is against raw, yet here I am feeding a raw diet. Granted, I haven't told them yet, but I know it'll come out eventually. I just hope they understand it's my choice and don't lecture me. I'll be prepared though. I'm not backing down because they don't feel it's right especially when I can see with my own eyes how right it is for them!

I also opted to go against their advice when treating Riley for arthritis. Instead of suggesting that I go see a specialist or at the least a holistic vet, the prescribed me Rimadyl. They told me that they'd need to do routine bloodwork to make sure his liver continued functioning properly while on this drug. They never told me the real story of what happens to some dogs while on this drug so I had no idea how badly it can mess up their system until I began researching. I did give Riley the Rimadyl for maybe a month or two while I researched it and came up with a natural route to treat it. I just hated seeing him uncomfortable and while the Rimadyl did work, I personally saw better improvements with the natural supplement route.

Another incident that really ticked me off was again with Riley. His cardiologist prescribed Mexilitine (not sure if I'm spelling it right). Never once did they mention side effects. They just wanted to try it because the Sotalol wasn't working as well as it should have. Well, after just one dose of the Mex Riley began showing some serious side effects that scared the hell out of me. He kept flinching as if he were being zapped, he was trembling, he was looking straight ahead but it seemed like he was not seeing things, he had a very confused and dazed look on his face. I called the cardio dr right away in tears and she kind of blew it off with an "oh yeah, we've been seeing more and more dogs reacting to this drug lately" attitude. I was floored that she never once told me about this and even more upset with how she blew it off. Needless to say we stopped that medication. I began researching it and did find other situations like Riley's using that drug.

So anyway, sorry to go so off topic, but I definitely agree that while these vets are in the business of helping animals they certainly are not the end all be all and even they can be wrong. We really do need to be more proactive about treating our animals and not just follow along as they seem to expect us to.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with Sue and Mandy on the vet issue. While many a dedicated vet gets into the business of veterinary care due to a love of animals, one must not forget that it is, after all, a business. Lots of food and or medicines are pushed by the vet due to interpersonal relationships between the manufacturer and the vet. (I don't want to say kick back, but in the case of food...absolutely) In any event...same as with your self...you kind of need to be your own doctor and you kind of need to be your dog's vet. Do research...ask questions...do more research. Find a vet that does not dismiss your imput. All very important.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Agreed Molly very important to have a Vet that listens to your input and doesnt dismiss you.

I havent brought Kippah to the Vet yet because she had just got all her vaccinations and was spayed right before I got her. I highly doubt I will be seeing the Vet I used for Gouda. I wasnt happy that he couldnt accommodate me when it was time for Gouda to cross the bridge. Also I wasnt happy with his wrong(granted there was no tests done) diagnosis of Goudas osteosarcoma. I insisted with the location and the feel of the tumor it was osteosarcoma even though I had never seen it first hand for myself. He argued it was a mast cell tumor. I totally disagreed with him and gave him my reasons why. He didnt budge and said I was wrong. In the end Goudas leg broke right at the tumor site and he had to admit later(I saw him a couple months later) that I was right.

Had I listened to him or Goudas Oncologist and blindly followed everything they said Gouda would not have lived as long as she did I am totally convinced of that. Even when Gouda FAR outlived what the Vet and Oncologist thought was possible neither would admit it was the alternative therapies I was giving her that kept her going. They wouldnt even admit to the possiblity..well they did after much badgering on my part But they didnt do it willingly lol
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My last dog (not a boxer, she was 10) had osteosarcoma in her hind leg the first symptom was ankle looked slightly asymmetrical to the other one and ever so slowly it got larger and it looked swollen and became painful/uncomfortable we thought she had a sprain, the vet did an x-ray and saw the cancer. She had no other signs or symptoms until she got near "the end" you'd never know she had cancer if it wasn't for the grapefruit sized tumor on her leg, she was exactly the same happy go lucky dog running around, until the last week of her life that's when she started acting "sick" very lethargic and depressed. I think it's important to know your dogs and their bodies how they look and act and try to judge their health on that. I try not to think about my babies getting cancer but i'm painfully aware of just how fast cancer can appear and the pain and loss that goes with it...so i am more attentive to any changes they have, I watch them like a hawk for anything out of the ordinary.
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